Does one parent get full custody if the other one dies? - Child Custody Law Questions and Answers-

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Does one parent get full custody if the other one dies?

Divorced parents, having joint custody of their children one parent is remarried but he dies. Does the other one have full custody of the children without a hearing? Does the spouse of the deceased having any claim to the children?

Beresford Booth PLLC
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The spouse of the deceased could file a non-parental custody action.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011

Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
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You might want to file a Motion for Standing as well as a Complaint for Custody. If you have been acting "in loco parentis," then explain to the court why your step-child would be best served by being in your custody.

Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 8/20/2011

Horizons Law Group, LLC
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The spouse could file for guardianship if the other parent was not really involved in their child's life. If that is not the case, and they were involved, then no, typically, the biological parent has full custody.

Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/19/2011

Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
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The spouse of the decreased parent has no claim at all on the child and the remaining parent is presumed to be the parent of the child.

Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/18/2011

Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
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The surviving parent has custody.

Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/18/2011

Answer By Roy L. Reeves
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
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There are unique circumstances in every case, but assuming nothing unusual, the deceased parent's rights died with him/her. The remaining parent is the only living parent and therefore the only person with parental rights. Keep in mind, this is a broad question without any facts, so the answer is given to the question as asked. If the other parent was the custodial parent and your rights were restricted in some form that changes everything.

Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/17/2011

Answer By Maury Beaulier
Beaulier Law Office
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Yes. The other biological parent would have custody by default absent a court order to the contrary and assuming that parental rights were not terminated.

Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/17/2011

Answer By Steven Dunnings
Dunnings Law Firm
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If he is dead then, yes, you have sole custody, but you should notify the Friend of the Court of his death, if you haven't opted out of the FOC. The surviving spouse has no rights unless the existing order says otherwise.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/17/2011

Cody and Gonillo, LLP
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Full custody goes to the surviving parent but the step parent can apply for rights to access or custody depending upon the situation.

Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/17/2011

Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
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The spouse of the deceased does not have any rights to the children upon the death of a parent. Even if the deceased parent has primary custody of the children, the children will go to the other parent.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/16/2011

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